Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Classroom collaboration online

Last Friday I presented a workshop for the ICE summer series on Classroom Collaboration Tools. Our focus was primarily the use of blogs and wikis, although we briefly looked at the social bookmarking and photo sharing sites (mentioned here previously).

I am particularly fond of wikis as a classroom tool. Teachers can easily create a wiki page for their classrooms and assign student (individually or in teams) to the task of being the "scribe" or notetakers for the day. The wiki environment allows teachers and other students to make corrections, or add to the work of the scribe.

Students can visit the wiki to review the class notes, or answer questions that may need to be clarified. At the end of the course, there is a day to day, or week to week record of what was covered. Wikis can be password protected, editors can elect to have changes emailed to them, and the history of changes and additions make it easy to manage.

Two online sources for creating wikis are and For the summer workshop, I created a pbwiki page at: -- when you visit the pbwiki site, you will discover that it literally takes only 10 seconds to create a wiki page! The other source I would recommend is, which allows the wiki owner to password protect the information, plus limit who can view the wiki. Check out this Georgia teacher's wikispace for ideas on how wikis can catapult your classroom into the 21st century!

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